March 23 2020

Essential Manufacturers Continue Operating to Help Sustain New Yorkers and the Regional Economy


Media Contact
James Schlett
Director of Research and Communications

ALBANY, NEW YORK – With New York State’s nonessential business shutdown taking effect last night, the Capital Region’s essential manufacturers are continuing to operate today to produce needed supplies related to the coronavirus pandemic. These essential manufacturers, which already have an outsized influence on the regional economy, are delivering a much-needed economic boost as the threat of a recession looms.

“The Capital Region has a manufacturing legacy that goes back to Thomas Edison, and I am sure the work that our essential manufacturers are doing today will secure them a place in that legacy. From making medical equipment to the computer chips that power vital systems, our manufacturers are showing the world just how resilient and innovative the Capital Region is,” said Andrew Kennedy, president and CEO of the Center for Economic Growth (CEG).

Statements from Essential Manufacturing Executives

Examples of essential manufacturers in the Capital Region include, but are not limited to, the following:

GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Malta: GLOBALFOUNDRIES has been designated an “essential manufacturer” by the State of New York because the semiconductors it manufactures support the world’s most vital technology needs including healthcare, communications, infrastructure and national defense.

“As the situation continues to evolve, GLOBALFOUNDRIES has focused on two guiding principles: first and foremost, the safety and wellbeing of our employees and their families, and protecting our ability to deliver on our commitments to our clients,” said Laurie Kelly, GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ vice president of global communication. “To safeguard our employees and manufacturing, we have implemented a work-from-home policy for non-operational personnel and instituted a split-shift schedule with a rigorous and disciplined social distancing policy for employees that continue to work on-site. We are so proud and thank our dedicated employees in New York and around the globe for supporting each other and for their valued efforts in managing this challenging situation.”

Espey Mfg. & Electronics, Saratoga Springs: Espey has been designated a critical industry infrastructure supplier because its products and services are essential for national security. Espey provides specialized power conversion equipment for nearly every branch of the Department of Defense as well as for critical transportation infrastructure of the United States.

“All team members that can perform their role from home are, ensuring only those duties that require personnel to be onsite are present,” said Espey CEO and President, Patrick Enright. “Espey’s entire workforce is committed to keeping our products moving, while actively following the guidance provided by the WHO and CDC to protect our families and community while fulfilling our obligation and commitment to the war fighter.”

Extreme Molding, Watervliet: Extreme Molding’s key products service the infant and toddler markets. The Medi-pacifier is an essential product for the dispensing of medicine to infants. This product is in extremely high demand, as are the hospital supplied pacifiers that it produces. Additionally, Extreme produces hospital door handle anti-ligature devices and suture pads.

“A smaller group of dedicated workers are diligently producing these key products, as well as exploring the possible production of N-95 masks in our plant. Our facility is being professionally cleaned, hand sanitizer and soap for hand washing is readily available for the protection of our team,” said Joanne Duncan, co-owner of Extreme Molding.

Blasch Precision Ceramics, Menands: Blasch’s products are used by other manufacturers in the supply chains that result in end products such as U.S. jet engines, domestic and international power generation equipment, agriculture fertilizers and medical prosthetics.

“We are proud to be so integral to these essential industries, and will continue to operate in support of these mission critical markets throughout this crisis,” said Blasch President and CEO Jack Parrish. “At Blasch, we have taken aggressive but necessary steps to reduce workplace density and safeguard our employees. In turn, we are confident that these measures will maximize our ability to fulfill customer requirements, according to expectations. We have also polled our critical supply chain, and have been given assurances that our key suppliers are solid, and operating at levels that will satisfactorily meet our needs, so we will satisfactorily meet our customers’ needs.”

Mohawk Fine Papers, Cohoes: Many of Mohawk’s customers are utilizing its papers and envelopes to share vital information with their customers during these unprecedented times, including Kaiser Permanente, Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic.

“Mohawk is fully committed to protecting our employees, and the communities we operate in. We are closely following the guidelines of the U.S. Centers of Disease Control (CDC) and taking the appropriate health and safety measures at all of our facilities,” said Mohawk Fine Papers CEO Tom O’Connor Jr.

Hollingsworth & Vose (H&V), Easton: H&V manufactures air filtration media and battery separator products in New York that are essential to its customers given the critical need for these products in responding to the COVID-19 emergency.

“Hollingsworth & Vose is honored to be able to support the response to the COVID-19 response in New York and across the country,” said H&V Plant Manager Karl Pfaffenbach. “While we continue to manufacture, the safety of our employees and the community remain a priority for H&V. We are complying with CDC, OSHA and state guidance to protect our workers.” 

Worker Safety

Essential manufacturers that remain open must comply with ESD’s guidance and New York State Department of Health directives “for maintaining a clean and safe work environment.” CEG, with guidance from the Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY), has been advising Capital Region essential manufacturers to keep workers at least six feet apart. Manufactures can achieve this social distancing by taking steps such as reconfiguring their shop floors through the adoption of lean manufacturing principles or reducing the number of workers on shop floors by participating in the New York State Department of Labor’s Shared Work Program.

MACNY President & CEO Randy Wolken said, “Manufacturers are meeting these challenging times head on. Our manufacturing companies that have been designated as essential are committed to continuing production, all while keeping their workers safe on the factory floor. They are practicing social distancing, disinfecting work surfaces and spaces regularly, and reminding employees that if they’re sick to stay home.”

Nonessential Manufacturing in the Capital Region

With the Small Business Administration (SBA) declaring a disaster for all of New York State, CEG is advising Capital Region manufacturers not deemed essential to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). The loans can be for up to $2 million, which can go toward paying fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. CEG is also assisting nonessential manufacturers in the region pivot their operations for the production of needed supplies related to COVID-19.

CEG Support

CEG is a federally designated Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) center. CEG’s professional staff can assist both essential and nonessential manufacturers respond to COVID-19-related disruptions and challenges. Businesses can schedule a consultation with CEG here

“The Center for Economic Growth has always been a valued partner to our operation, and this is especially true right now. We would not have been able to navigate the maze of regulation over the past week without their support. We are greatly appreciative of the CEG’s tireless efforts on our behalf; they are a critical resource to us,” said Parrish at Blasch.


The Center for Economic Growth (CEG) is the Capital Region’s regional economic development organization, with over 265 investors in business, government, education, and the not-for-profit sectors. CEG is a New York Empire State Development Division of Science, Technology and Innovation-designated Regional Technology Development Center and an affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)/Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). For more information, visit



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